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  1. #1
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    The line between DIY and buying

    My first (and only) hammock I made myself. Thinking back to that experience, I saved about $40 vs purchasing a night owl because of the setup costs of the thread injector and measuring/sewing accessories.

    It's a nice hammock, I've slept in it on every trip this year. However, I've never slept in another hammock, so my comparisons are vs a tent (sooo much better). My second DIY was an underquilt, and that went sideways on me. I still have to take it apart and try again.

    So I'm second guessing myself, and I wanted to hear from the more experienced. To the DIY crowd, are there items you would not try to make yourself? Is DIY cost effective to the weekender? I'm always going to make my own amsteel byproducts, but wonder where the line is for other people between waiting and buying vs. materials and DIY.

    Thx

  2. #2
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I sewn a sil tarp that I love but the price of them compared to doing rolled hems on a slippery curve is no contest. Especially since you can find perfectly good used ones on teh market.
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    IMO the DIY procedure is not really worth it based on cost alone. Please note.... I said based on cost alone. Taking all other things out of consideration the cost for a commercial item is too reasonable to do the DIY route. _but_ when factoring in all the other aspects of the project... getting _exactly_ what you want, the satisfaction of making it yourself, the intangibles that figure in you are left with a whole different outcome. For me.. that's where the benefits of DIY are found.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member stairguy's Avatar
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    Personally, I have no problem designing and fabricating a $250,000 curved stairway. But the thought of sewing a stuff sack intimidates me. I buy.
    " Wiggs "

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  5. #5
    Knotty's Avatar
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    It's the trial, error and experimentation that can make DIY actually cost more than buying.

    BUT if you already have a sewing machine and you follow well established instructions it can definitely save you money. I have commercial and DIY hammocks and keep getting tempted to buy other commercial hammocks but then I remember how well the DIYs work and see no need. If you have the time, then DIY is great.
    Knotty
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  6. #6
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Born_Old View Post
    So I'm second guessing myself, and I wanted to hear from the more experienced. To the DIY crowd, are there items you would not try to make yourself? Is DIY cost effective to the weekender? I'm always going to make my own amsteel byproducts, but wonder where the line is for other people between waiting and buying vs. materials and DIY.

    Thx
    Being "cost effective to the weekender" is pretty subjective when it comes to DIY gear. Compared to what? If you count your time towards the project, then no, it won't be as "cost effective" compared to what it can be produced for by one of the cottage industries here on HF. They're able to take advantage of quantity discounts, wholesale prices, having patterns, the experience of having made multiple copies of an item, having a space set up for production, etc. They work a long time prototyping and making patterns so the next one will be easier, faster, better. They all started as DIYers at some point, then turned it into a business.

    Most DIYers aren't interested in making money, just saving some. If you're just comparing cost of material you buy vs. finished product shipped to your door, then yes, you can save some money. It will take longer, but you can make some really nice gear yourself. Will it be as good as what you can buy? Maybe yes, maybe not, depending on what you're comparing it to, your skills, and tools.

    If you have to buy a sewing machine and material, and only plan to make one item, then you might be better off purchasing a finished product. I already had all the necessities for sewing, so making my own gear was simply a matter of having the raw materials and a plan. I'm outfitting a family of five, so DIYing our gear is pretty important to make our gear dollars go as far as possible.

    As far as things I wouldn't attempt....for me, can't think of anything, but I have a lot of experience doing a lot of different things. It's purely a matter of having the tools to do it. If I had a CNC waterjet (like Dutch), I'd make my own Dutch Clips. (The first Dutch Clip was made with a drill press, hacksaw, and file.) In this case I don't have the $xxx,xxx for a cnc, so $12 is a great deal. With down UQs, $240 for a HG Incubator was the cost of material to make two for me and the lovely wife who also hangs. Money saved. It all depends on what you are willing to tackle. It took me a while to wrap my mind around working with down. It's not too big a deal, now that I've done it.

    For me, many times I want something with features that aren't available. Then you really have to DIY it. It's part of the fun.

  7. #7
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stairguy View Post
    Personally, I have no problem designing and fabricating a $250,000 curved stairway. But the thought of sewing a stuff sack intimidates me. I buy.
    Glad there are some folks who love stair jobs. I did two, and said never again. Down quilts not a problem.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RedBeardHanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    getting _exactly_ what you want, the satisfaction of making it yourself, the intangibles that figure in you are left with a whole different outcome. For me.. that's where the benefits of DIY are found.
    +1
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  9. #9
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    Dutch: Thanks for the info about tarps. I have a walmart blue special with a kelty/chinook on the christmas wishlist. Then it's saving the pennies to buy something from GargoyleGear!

    RamblingRev: Sounds much like my original thoughts on DIY. It's nice to know that I could do it and make it mine. Time/expense/supplies are the balance I am now trying to accomplish. I think now that once I can do it, I'll leave it to the more professional

    Knotty: I agree on the hammock idea. What about the UQ, the TQ? Those would be my next worries after the shelter (tarp). I think I will be ccfing it until something changes.

    Detail_Man: Down scares me. I think having a carpeted apt with 2 cats and a 17mo old makes it even more scary. With time will hopefully come a man cave (albeit one with a thread injector and fabric).

    --For those who have done them, snakeskins look to be easy? I'm trying to think of those things I may make after a hammock that will help me practice, not cost a bunch, and help my outdoor experience the most. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  10. #10
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Having done DIY.....6 hammocks....5 tarps......two UQs....gloves...a shirt....stuff sacks and a few bits and bobs. It was fun and it feels really terrific to be in or under or on something that you made.
    But....I buy most stuff now considering the time it took me to do them.
    I would do more tarps...fun.
    No more UQs or TQs...unless I decide to make a -30º UQ.
    Time is $$$$.
    So really.....I don't know what I am ramble typing about.
    I say try it.
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